Would You Return A Cellphone Found In The Streets?

I received my copy of the August 2007 edition of Reader’s Digest yesterday and IMHO it is the most interesting edition for me since I started my subscription about a year ago.

I ain’t gonna talk about all of the articles this time, but one of them. RD made an experiment where they sent their reporters to 32 cities in the world and in each of the city they left 30 mid-priced cellphones all over the place – to see how citizens react when they found it.

The article interestingly started with BK Low, a businessman who “found” a cellphone outside of a bank and immediately popped his head inside the bank and asked if anyone has accidentally left it outside. The article described many other instances where interestingly enough, people in the richest cities kept the found cellphones to themselves, while a homeless man in Budapest handed it over to a newsstand operator to be returned to the rightful owner.

However the total statistics reveal that more than 60% of the 960 cellphones were returned – which is quite a comforting figure. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia have the same score with Hong Kong where only a little over 40% of the cellphones were returned – this is the lowest score among all of the selected cities which is quite disappointing for me although I expected that 🙂 From this experiment we can still be assured that in this world there is still some honesty left in more than half of earthlings.

It is also amazing how the power of persuasion can let some parents let their kids keep the found cellphone. Grab yourself a copy at the newsstand or the library and read all about it.

What would you do if you found a cellphone in the streets? Would you keep it?